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Disabled Athletes from Armenia to Compete in LA Marathon

Pyunic - Armenian Association for the Disabled
6606 Cantalope Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91405
818.785.3468
NEWS ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 15, 2005



Contact: Teni Melidonian

626.644.7247

protocolprose@yahoo.com

Disabled Athletes from Armenia to Compete in

20th Los Angeles City Marathon


Los Angeles, CA (February 15) - Pyunic, the Armenian Association for
the Disabled, is proud to announce that two of its disabled athletes
from the Republic of Armenia will compete in the 20th Los Angeles
City Marathon on Sunday, March 6, 2005.

Marine Hakobyan, 30, a paraplegic, suffered a spinal cord injury
in the devastating 1988 earthquake that left over 25,000 dead and
hundreds of thousands injured and homeless. A member since 1992,
Hakobyan has participated in Pyunic sponsored programs including
several rehabilitation camps and, most recently, competed in archery
at the 2004 Paralympics Games in Athens, Greece.

Greta Khndzrtsyan, 18, a double amputee, lost her parents' at the age
of two in the earthquake. Raised by her grandparents', Khndzrtsyan is
a student at the Gyumri Pedagogic University majoring in Psychology. At
the age of 15, she competed in the 2002 Los Angeles City Marathon. Both
athletes train at the Pyunic Center for the Disabled in Yerevan,
Armenia.

"It is pure determination and dedication that will help these
athletes cross the finish-line. Their triumph will provide motivation
and hope for many disabled individuals living in Armenia," said
Sarkis Ghazarian, president of Pyunic, the athlete's sponsoring
organization. There are over 100,000 disabled persons in Armenia;
current laws and public socialization do not meet western
standards. "My hope is to create greater awareness and public
acceptance for the disable in my country," said Hakobyan.

While in Southern California, the athletes will be honored at Pyunic's
annual fundraising event - Winter Brunch & Silent Auction - benefiting
disabled programs in Armenia on February 27, 2005 at the Brandview
Collection in Glendale, California.

Founded in 1989 to help the disabled children of the 1988 earthquake in
Armenia, Pyunic is the leading non-governmental organization shaping
public awareness for the disabled. Pyunic provides humanitarian
aid, social services, career training and summer/winter teaching
camps. Pyunic athletes have competed in numerous worldwide athletic
competitions, including the Los Angeles Marathon and both summer and
winter Paralympics since 1994.

For more information about Pyunic, please contact Sarkis Ghazarian
at 818.785.3468.

For press/media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Teni
Melidonian at 626.644.7247 or at protocolprose@yahoo.com.

Pyunic, the Armenian Association for the Disabled, is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization dedicated to assisting, supporting and shaping
public awareness for the disabled in the Republic of Armenia.

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